Friday, 29 March 2019

Finding Simon and Holiday to Duncan

Our RV still hasn't been switched to BC plates, but not for lack of trying.....

We made arrangements here at the campground to be gone for a few days because the Out Of Province Inspection we had done a few weeks back required our King Pins to be replaced, and we found out we had a propane leak.... these would require the RV to be in Duncan for 3 days.

We worked like dogs around the grounds in the weeks prior to this 'time off' knowing that when we returned there wouldn't be much time left before the official season opening of April 1st. While there are not a lot of bookings in April, there are quite a few and the first couple are on the 2nd.... We have set ourselves the goal of having the grounds 'ready' by the 1st - and we think we'll make it.

In my tired stupor I booked an AirBnB instead of staying with Ray & Deb at their home at Lake Cowichan - No idea what I was thinking but by the time I realized the cancellation time was too late. And to add insult to injury --- no bathtub! Aye aye aye - told you I was tired!

Anyway, the place I booked was absolutely lovely, fantastic views and the grounds are well maintained and built with rock wall layers - stunning. While spring has only just begun I can only imagine the beauty this property holds during summer. Though there wasn't a tub, the shower was sooooo awesome! Water pressure!!!!!! and hot for as long as you wanted!!!!! Any RVer will tell you that a these two things are like Gold.

The space was huge, we only 'lived' in the main room of it and it was about 3 times the size of our rig. The hosts were very friendly but not 'always around' friendly, just let us do our thing. All the amenities were there and in the end it was a great place to stay and very close to Duncan.

Picture of the grounds at Maple Bay Vista BnB

Trying to get him out the door for dinner with Ray & Deb

OMG he's multiplying.....

Only pic I took that night was of Ray's workshop - Love it! and a lot jealous.

Deer outside our BnB window in the morning

Robbie waiting for deer to return

I have been following Finding Simon for 3 years after seeing him on Canada AM. At that time he was living in a converted van and has since sold the van and lived off of his motorcycle with side car. Now he is renovating a 47 ft Catamaran that he picked up for $5000CAD and I am fascinated by his ingenuity, creativity and all out gumption. He is on FB and Twitter but his main medium is YouTube - check him out!

Waiting for the ferry to Gabriola Island

Nanaimo has many harbour view condos...

...and tankers waiting to load

Simon Found and made this little old lady very happy!
(He's about 6'6", I'm not a shrimp)

Terrible picture of Simon's catamaran

Degnen Bay, Gabriola Island

Trying to get off Gabriola was a bit trying....

The lineup went well back past the U-turn for the ferry

Missed the ferry we were trying to get so I walked around the bend to get lunch

There is our little RV on the left getting her propane line fixed

Upon our return to the campground, we remembered the owner was having gravel delivered to our site while we were gone. As dusk was approaching we set up our rig in the only other empty spot and headed off for supper at our favourite haunt, The OysterCatcher.

Love the view of the marina from The Oyster Catcher

Now, back to work.

Thursday, 21 March 2019


We've been busy working on the grounds. Time is ticking by so fast seems like just yesterday we moved into this spot, now its almost April. That 3.5ft of snow has really delayed things and now we have a push on to get everything ready.

This is the largest garden and I spent a total of 3 days sorting it out.

A different angle on our spot.

Yesterday we set about dealing with the bathrooms. Using a spray can lid and a turkey baster we sucked out all the antifreeze from the toilets and I sprayed bleach on all the walls in the bathrooms as there was some mildew on them from the winter season. Today I hope to get them cleaned properly and hang new shower curtains in the shower house. 

It appears we have a broken pipe in the ground (extreme cold temps this winter - for this area) so that will need to be sorted.

We plan to put a fresh coat of paint on the bathroom floors to freshen everything up. Not sure we'll get to that today but would like them to be cleaned and ready.

I have also done some further work on the operational system so that we can work smarter not harder during the busy season. We'll have to see how well all the changes I've implemented work out.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Room done and grounds work

We finished the sitting room walls and ceiling on Sunday and then set to work out in the grounds, the snow is finally gone and the temps here are hot hot hot. As much as we want to have the sitting room finished we have other priorities, the campground becomes 'open' on April 1st and we want it to be ready. We will be away for 3 days at the end of March ( I better start making plans for that) so we have to focus as time is ticking quickly.

Walls and ceiling up.

This big garden area has been cleaned up, that was a 2 day job.

I pulled out my golf cart, Brad's was out all winter as you know but mine was put away in storage for the winter. Now she is free once again.

Painted some bird houses in an attempt to add a bit of colour to the place.

Might paint the back panel of this birdhouse at some point but it wasn't yesterday.

There are a ton of wasps so Brad went to town and bought 4 catchers, the war of the wasps has begun.

At the end of the day, I put our camping chairs and Robbie's bed in the new room so we could get a feel for it. Aaahhhh, relaxing.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Sitting Room Day 8

We went to Brad's dental appt yesterday at 8am, while talking before the extraction we discovered that the aspirin he takes every morning meant he couldn't have the tooth pulled, even though he hadn't taken it that morning apparently its 5 days so it has had to be rescheduled yet again.

We managed to get all the walls done yesterday but the building is not square -- anywhere. Its literally all over the place. There are even wall centers that are higher than the edges.... no idea how the hell that happened but suffice to say it is taking a lot longer and the cuts are not precise no matter how careful we are and each piece has had to be edited several times to get a fit which is throwing off other measurements.... aye aye aye. We didn't have this much trouble when we built the house, but I guess when this shed was put together it was just a shed and built for that purpose.

No one ever anticipates me... LOL

After much ado we managed to get the walls completed and even put one on the ceiling -- oh yeah, that was fun, and at the end of a long day - it was enough and we called it.

Today we will finish the ceiling come hell or high water (I think...) and I might even get a first coat of stain on it.... unless we feel it needs trim first. This week is supposed to be a 'heatwave' for this time of year with temps in the teens which will be much welcome.

We need to get on with some gardening as we want the place ready for campers come April 1, though likely it will be May before we get any significant amount of bookings we will need to get the 'camper ring' finished for April and we will have time after that to work on the 'tent ring' which I don't anticipate anyone needing until May - even out here, but I could be wrong so speed is of the essence.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Sitting room Day 7

Spent another few hours putting the new sitting room together. Got quite a bit done yesterday.

Roof vent trays installed

Vapour barrier put up and tuck taped

We had a very small bit left when we ran out of vapour barrier so we managed to use small pieces and get it all covered. Vapour barrier can only be purchased in 50 ft rolls and we clearly didn't need that much. Its not pretty but it is effective.

Going to be a nice cozy space

Managed to get 3 sheets up on the walls as well.
Yes, plywood on the walls - it is a shed after all.

We left the 4'x8' plywood outside last night because those who never get it right said it wasn't going to rain.......

This morning when I checked the weather (1st site I go to every am) - shock of all shocks, light rain turning to showers... beginning in 15 minutes....

Grabbed the dog for his morning excursion and moved all the plywood inside.... likely won't be able to do anything in here today, sheets are too large to cut in this small space. We'll see if it actually rains.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Sitting room progress

We made a noticeable difference to the sitting room yesterday... 

All walls were insulated

Outside trim removed and roof trays begun

We needed to make some adjustments to allow for air flow within what will be essentially attic space.

Bug screen was added and blocks put on to allow for airflow

Roughly 1/2" gap below this top trim now, allowing air to pass into the attic

Holes made at the top end of roof

With any luck, today I can get mesh over the top holes, finish the roof trays, insulation in the roof and the vapour barrier put everywhere. If we have time, perhaps begin putting up the plywood walls.

This space feels so very different now compared to when we began and soon it will be toasty warm too.

Monday, 11 March 2019

Changes to the plan

Okay so as I mentioned there was a bit of fun over the 'Conservatory' name for our little shed remodel, so we have changed it. Deb at Kastle's Journey said it should be the 'Sitting Room' and it just seemed so obvious that we ( read: I ) changed it instantly.... big thanks to Deb as I was drawing a blank for anything good.

When the owner came by to do the lift of the building (to allow for better air flow underneath), he felt that it should be insulated and a proper job done of it, keeping in mind that it is still a shed of course. Not about to argue, we agreed and we are moving forward with the build now that the lift is complete.

The walls that were dividing the seating area from what was a potting area have come down and we now have a much larger space to work with. The new floor has been added with vapour barrier under the entire shed.

After the lift, with the vapour barrier

Floor bracing

Floor added

Even the owner was involved

There is meant to be some rain today, according to those who never get it right - but not until this afternoon, so I think I will do the painting on the ceiling this morning. Because of the mould issue that was in this space, having bleached it to oblivion, I purchased a mould deterrent paint which will go on before the insulation goes in. It will only go on the problem areas so it won't take very long to do but could save many problems later.

This sitting room is now 8 ft wide and 16 ft long, its like having a 2nd motorhome. This will be a great addition to our little Manager site here at the campground and I'm really excited about it. Not only will it be a nice added space for us, but if/when we move on it will be a great advantage/incentive to those who come after us.

Now that the floor is down, we will be able to work in here whether its sun or rain which is good news since the rains delete the snow and when the snow is gone -- there is other work to be done... and the sitting room goes on hold.

The campground owner has been supportive of my idea to create this little outdoor space and I'd like to thank him for allowing us to do a more extravagant space. I had originally figured I'd make it just a comfortable shed but now it will be an actual outdoor space and that is awesome.

With it now being a wide open space, it should not take very long to get it sorted and ready for my furniture builds... speaking of which, I have found a second and I believe much easier/better option for the couch/bed that I plan to build but I'm still looking into both options to figure out which one I will use as I want to use as much of the salvage wood around here as possible. Sounds like a jimmy rig but trust me, it'll be great - you will see.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

About that inspection...

Well it turns out (apparently) that our King pins (no idea) are 'quite worn' and need to be replaced. I seem to remember hearing about this on RV Love a couple of years ago so I recognize the name of the problem but still have no clue as to what it is - other than something something steering.

As this will be around $2000, we are hoping it will be covered by our enormous super duper extended warranty but haven't had a chance to check on that as yet. Problem is that its a 2 day repair, Yikes. Boss man won't like that... no idea how we are going to manage this but I'm sure we'll figure something out.

As is the way of it, we sat around here for weeks with trickle phone calls sometimes 2, 3 or 4 a day sometimes none in a day but a steady trickling of bookings... Thinking 'hey its Monday in early March, no one will call' off we go to Duncan to deal with our stuff and lo and behold the voicemail was full and I had 10 emails on top of that this morning.... naturally! All caught up now though but wowsers the pace at which this place is filling is increasing exponentially.

We had our taxes done at H&R Block while we were in town, Brad usually does them but we have a lot going on so we let them do it while we were in town. Quite a nice return coming and away we went, then the lady (she was new) called to say she hadn't given Brad his disability credit so he had to stop back in the shop and the difference was an extra $1600  - so that was a nice bonus.

Ray & Deb of Kastle's Journey drove in to Duncan to meet us for lunch. Very nice of them as its the better part of a half hours drive from their place to Original Joe's where we met up. Had a nice visit and some good grub and we were off again to do yet more running around.

I went to Dollarama for some Irish Spring ( yes, the soap) to put around the yard, again - just planning ahead, I don't know what to expect and I don't want to learn the hard way. While there I also picked up some seed pots which were 48 for $1.25 - you'd never get a price like that on the island so I grabbed them as the seeds I've ordered (designed yet again to deter mice, flies, wasps, etc.) have been shipped from Vancouver so should be arriving in short order.

Also, we've been having a propane issue, not sure if I've mentioned this or not, but we first noticed it in California... occasionally we would smell propane, and it seemed to be getting worse. We had a propane guy over to the rig to check it out and he couldn't find any problem, assured us that it was just the something something burping... don't ask me, I know nothing.... anyway, so we ignored it but lately its been getting worse or seemed to be anyway so we stopped at Greg's RV in Duncan and had them take a look.

Turns out, one of the lines had a crack, the line was not copper but neoprene or something like that. Anyway, they didn't have time to deal with it yesterday but they did close off that part of the line, fortunately the only thing at the end of that line was the cooker/oven. Yes, this will be a nuisance but we still have the convection oven and instant pot, so we should be able to manage. Besides we eat out a lot and we're currently searching for our next BBQ.

We have booked in tentatively for March 27 to have this propane line replaced but we'll have to see what arrangements we can come up with in that regard. Since this is a Wed and we also need 2 days for the King Pin repair in order to finish the inspection and properly plate this rig - I'm going to try to make arrangements to do it all at once. This of course will depend on getting someone to cover us while we're gone. Leaving for 1 day is one thing, 3 is a whole other ballgame... though if I take the booking sheets with me, I could still take the reservations and just process them when we get back... hmmm, that is totally doable.

Well I think that's it for today, pretty much in a holding pattern until the Conservatory is lifted.

Monday, 4 March 2019

New curtains and a BC Safety Inspection

I finally managed to get those curtains done, in the back shed. The windows are so small that I just cut the fabric the shape I wanted and hung them. Since they are new the colour makes them really stand out, a bit of sun fading would go a long way here, and I believe that to be in the cards.

Back Shed


The office curtains are not very visible through the glare but look great inside. These I actually sewed and I'm happy with how they turned out, I even made the tie backs.


Today we are off to Duncan with the RV. Our timeline for getting everything switched to BC is running out in another month and we haven't been able to find somewhere to have the safety done (to ensure it is roadworthy). Several days ago I finally contacted ICBC directly and explained the situation and that I could not find anyone, I was directed to their online ICBC approved list (which I had searched for but could not find online).

Turns out it was a terminology issue. I had been asking for a Safety Inspection on our motorhome but should have been asking for a Class 2 safety inspection. Class 2 is any vehicle over 5500kg here.

Anyway, today is our appointment and so away we go. In order to ensure we can be on the ferry we want to be on in order to arrive on time, we have to leave here 2 hours ahead of the appointment. We've been told it should take about an hour..... Cross everything that she passes, will ya!?!?!?

While there are companies on Salt Spring which do Class 2 safety inspections (I called them all), they tell me their shops are not big enough to accommodate such a large rig.

The Conservatory

Is on hold because the owner was by the other day and the building needs to be lifted slightly (you may recall that from earlier posts), this is not in our wheelhouse so next weekend he will come by and give us a hand with it.

Also, we will be insulating the walls which will certainly make it more comfortable for guests. I hadn't intended to insulate it because as its not our building I didn't want to pay for it and certainly couldn't expect him to...  Imagine my surprise! While it will only be a couple of hundred dollars, I thought that was very generous of him. However, none of this can be done until it is lifted, obviously.

Meanwhile I can work on the couch/bed and some decor items. Not sure that the solar furnace I was planning will be needed with it insulated but I have the plans should we deem it so, however the solar water heater plans are still on my list for the shed which houses my laundry facilities.